Didn’t forget this time

No, I did not do last weeks OTT .

I did not forget.

In fact, I thought about it a lot.

I just didn’t do it.  So there….

I did work on a draft called CahParking%203Driving Lessons, but it needs much more work and a lot more editing. I will post it when I am completely and totally satisfied with what I end up with.  I have found that if I just sit down and write, things flow quicker, better, a bit easier.  I am better off not thinking when I write. There is always time to edit so it makes a bit of sense later. So, I am sitting and working on today’s OTT.  Not thinking, just doing. Obsessive Thought Thursday for those who don’t remember or never knew. Trying not to think about obsessive thoughts while writing about obsessive thoughts can be tricky. I have faith in my ability to handle it.

An intrusive thought is an unwelcome involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate.

Okay,,,,What do you call those intrusive thoughts that are an unwelcome involuntary imagethought, image, or idea that starts as pleasant?  Some of my intrusive thoughts are not specifically unpleasant until they become obsessive.  Like yesterday I had the thought that I had to get pictures of some flowers before they disappeared.  I considered it an intrusive thought because I was busy with something else and didn’t have the time to take a picture. Not stopping what I was doing to take a picture, and the thought would take over my brain until I could not stand it anymore. I would be unable to concentrate on anything but those damn flowers. Taking a picture would have helped this thought leave my brain.  Noticing pretty purple flowers is a pleasant thought, until it becomes an unpleasant obsessive thought.

imageLuckily, I have a lifetime of experience with intrusive thoughts.  My experience is that if I deal with them head on, acknowledge them, talk about them, write about them, take some sort of appropriate action, they may go away. Medication helps too.  Odd, as I write this I came to the realization that another thought I have been experiencing lately might be nothing more than a regular intrusive thought (according to the description I found). One of the unpleasant ones though.image

Now I wonder, what came first?  The chicken, the egg, OCD, MDD, GAD????  I am pretty sure it was the chicken.  This recent unpleasant, unrelenting, intrusive thought might not be the reemergence of depression.  As I initially thought. It just might be the OCD kicking up a bit.

So, where does that leave us???? With the knowledge that by writing, talking, sharing, expressing, feeling, etc. I will be okay. Now that I really think about it or not think about it, maybe intrusive thoughts for me are not truly intrusive until they become obsessive. Just a thought.

Damn, another thought.  Should someone with diagnosed OCD even be writing?  Never mind writing about OCD, writing in itself can become obsessive.  I can hear my husband’s voice in my head, “Just freakin’ hit Publish!!!!”

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I totally forgot again

I have managed to find someone other than myself to blame for my inability to get my weekly feature published on time.

My husband is to blame.  He has had an extra day off each week this summer which totally messes up what day I think it is.  Therefore it is his fault I cannot write about obsessive thoughts on Obsessive Thought Thursday. I do not know when Thursday is.

So glad we got that squared away from the beginning.  I continue to challenge OCD in some way every day. The more I challenge it, the more I reinforce the fact that it is okay to do something once. The more times I eat three skittlesimage at a time instead of four or 2 cookies instead of four, and nothing bad happens, the more I believe nothing bad will happen.  The more times I successfully challenge this disorder, the stronger I feel. And No, not every challenge is a successful one. Twice recently while in a store, I had an incredible increase in anxiety which was directly related to an opportunity to challenge the OCD.  I felt it in my body, just like my new Therapist wants me to.  I can hear him now, “What does it feel like?”     “Easy, It feels like I am going to puke.”

We have been experiencing a lot of ‘firsts’ the last few weeks and I am happy to note that in no way could I make them into fourths. It was stuff like the 1st time you peel and cut up potatoes without saving some pieces for the beagle. The 1st time you forget your water when leaving the house and realize you can go back in without disturbing the dog. There is no dog. The first time you cook and realize there is no dog to step over no matter where you move.  The first time you sit in your dog’s favorite spot on the loveseat and realize just howMattNoMoreFirstsWords comfortable it really is.  The first time you have sirloin tips for supper and realize there is no one to share the juice with. The 1st time your husband leaves when the dog would normally ‘think’ he shouldn’t and you both realize he doesn’t have to sneak out of the house anymore. The 2nd time you sit in your dog’s spot on the loveseat, only this time you recline back, totally enjoying how comfortable you truly are and think, “that little shit has had the best spot in the house for 15 years, and I can see the TV better from over here.” Done with firsts for now.

Okay, O.T.T., obsessive thoughts, Thursday, No its Sunday, Obsessiveness, you started this Saturday…. Lately, I have found myself obsessing over depression.  I have been obsessing over being aware that the depression may or may not be trying to get back in control of my head. I am obsessing over doing everything I can possibly do to stop the depression from taking over my brain. I am thinking this might not be a bad obsession.

Because I am constantly on the look out for signs that depression may be returning, I see the signs rather quickly. I see them before they can get a hold on me.  I can then do what I need to do to prevent it from getting worse.

For example, I have been neglecting my blog.  I enjoy my blog, I have fun with my blog.  The more I neglect my blog, the less joy and fun I have and the easier it is for depression to strengthen itself inside me.  There is more room for it to grow.

Sometimes depression tries to sneak up on me in other ways.DepressionStronger  It likes it when I feel irritable and get snippy with my partner.  I know this, I am aware of this, I can apologize for this and not do it again. Depression hates it when I do this, it loses power. One thing depression loves is alcohol.  If I have to do something that makes me extremely anxious it wants to convince me that it will be easier to do with a drink. It will be better with a  drink.  To someone with a history of depression, alcohol is just FFD (Fuel For Depression). Depression lies. It lies to me all the time. You don’t need to eat today. You will only get fatter.  Eat tomorrow. Depression wants to be that gut wrenching, motivation sucking, all-consuming monster it has been in the past.  And if that means lying to me, that means lying to me.

Today is different though.  I have had time away from that major, debilitating, dark depression. I like to think I have used that time wisely.  I have been able to work on ‘other stuff’.  I have learned how to get through some incredibly anxiety provoking situations unscathed.  I have learned and am still learning that unpleasant feelings just are. Everyone has them.feelingsEmotions  If I feel them and let them be, they will change or leave altogether. The more I fight unpleasant feelings, the stronger they become. Which opens the door for depression.  I need to allow myself to feel stuff like fear, or sadness, or even anger. That way when I feel things like joy, peace, and happiness, I will enjoy them that much more.

I do not know where I am going with this story and I barely know where I’ve been, so my suggestion to Myself is to end it here.

THE END

This time I totally forgot

I missed Obsessive Thought Thursday again.  This time I completely and totally forgot about it.  It wasn’t until Friday that I even thought about Thursday.  This could very well be a good thing.  Maybe I am forgetting about it because I am not having constant, unrelenting, obsessive, intrusive thoughts.obsessiveNot

I made homemade chocolate chip cookies on Thursday.  The number totaled 1 cookie short of 5 1/2 dozen.  I thought about the number briefly.  I was okay with having such an odd number.  I did not stress over having that odd number.  I did think about it, but I thought more about the fact that I was okay with the odd number.  In the past I would have had to figure out how to get a much better total number of cookies.  In fact I would have started my baking with the final number in mind.  I would have made some cookies bigger or smaller to get to a decent final number.

12 cookies per sheet = 24 cookies each time I put the sheets in the oven.  That gives me 24 each time.  If I squeeze three extra cookies onto each sheet each time, that would give me 30 cookies which is closer to 32 than 24.  Then I only have to worry about 2 cookies not 6.  I do this twice and I end up with 60 cookies.  This is much closer to 64 than 48.  48 is not a bad number it is just not as pleasant as 64.

If I do this 2 more times, which is 4 times, I end up with 120 cookies.  8 more and I have 128 total.  That is a great number.  Very easy for me to work with.  I did not do any of this.  Yes, the number of cookies was always in my mind, but it did not bother me too much or cause increased anxiety in me.  I did count the cookies as I baked them, but my only goal was to bake a lot of cookies.  The total number I ended up with did not matter to me.  I just wanted a lot of them.

I ended up with 65 cookies.  So close to 64, yet so far.ocdRELIEF

I sat and I pondered.  I felt.  I sat and felt whatever it was I was going to feel. I felt okay with this number.  I liked the number better when I called it 1 short of 5 1/2 dozen, but 65 was okay too.  Eat one and I am at the magical number of 64.  I did not do this.  Instead, I thought about how cool it was that I was feeling absolutely no anxiety over the number of cookies I baked.

Yes, I thought about the number of cookies, but that is okay. It may have even been normal to want to know how many cookies I ended up with. I have been obsessing over numbers since I knew what numbers were.  I can’t expect to completely forget about them all at once.

What do I attribute this amazing feat to?  A few things come to mind.  Medication being number 1.  Without the proper medication, I would not have the opportunity to even attempt to challenge my obsessions and compulsions. But, medication did not fix me.  It helped me.  It gave me the ability to really take a look at the obsessions and compulsions that were left.  With medication, the battle of challenging the OCD seemed possible.  A battle I believed I could finally maybe win.  I had hope that I could beat this illness.  Before medication, I was completely controlled by the obsessive thoughts and behaviors.

Many of these compulsions had become habit.  I never thought about putting 4 ice cubes in my drink, I just automatically did it.  I learned in childhood that if I did not do things in 4’s, I would feel uncomfortable.  When I got older I learned that this uncomfortable feeling was called anxiety.  I learned that I could prevent or lessen this anxiety by doing things in 4’s. lifestronger

So although medication has helped me, I have had to do a lot of hard work as well.  I have had to force myself to do things differently.  I have had to be willing to experience those uncomfortable feelings I’ve been trying to avoid my whole life.  I am challenging OCD and I am winning.  Each and every time I challenge it, I get a bit stronger.

Mental illness awareness month.

This could turn out interesting. Worth taking a look. I know many of you have some powerful stories that need to be heard.

aghostdancer

Mental Illness the faceless disease. It an affect anyone.  and the chances are you know someone with the disease. Add your story and let's shine a light on those suffering in the darkness. Mental Illness the faceless disease. It an affect anyone. and the chances are you know someone with the disease. Add your story and let’s shine a light on those suffering in the darkness.

In honor of mental health awareness month I’d like to open up my blog.

I am inviting anyone who has a personal story about themselves or a loved one struggling with mental illness of any kind to post your stories as links back to your blog in the comments below. I’m doing this because I believe the only way to change the stigma of mental illness is to put real faces on it.

Real people, real suffering I think can draw a spotlight to this devastating disease. I would love stories of this disease from every perspective. If you are a parent of a child with mental illness, a spouse, a sibling, or even a best friend…

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To People who Work With the Mentally Ill

this was very well written, so true, and needs to be heard.

A Journey with You

I have said it over and over again, that when I am experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia, the only person I truly trust is my husband.

The first time I was psychotic, I trusted my brother, but it has been a long time since we have lived in the same city so I don’t know if that would be true today.

I have found that being able to trust someone when I am experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia is crucial to being able to live with those symptoms, or even better, to overcome those symptoms.

Trust is difficult for someone with paranoid schizophrenia though.

I learned the hard way that telling people about my symptoms is not always in my best interest, in fact, it can be used against me.

I was once in an abusive relationship, and I would tell my boyfriend things about my illness. He used those details against…

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I Really can turn it around

I did it.  I want to shout off the mountain top, “I FREAKIN’ DID IT!!!!”

I will try to make a long story short.

An unexpected not so good thing happened today.  This thing led to what I would describe as an even worse thing, but not devastatingly bad.  Manageable bad.  My hands shook while attempting to use the rarely used cell phone,

First call was AAA.  I just used these guys last Saturday so I am a pro with them.  Despite quivering fingers, I did well with their phone system.  The next call was to my therapists office.  Easy one. Well it became easy after the first number I dialed was a wrong number. Just say hello and ask for his extension here.  No need to deal with a computer.  You know, low tech, they have people.  People you can actually talk to and get to know. 

In my mind’s eye my 1st message to Dennis was panicked.  I could not remember my cell # , and rambled on about how “with my old therapist I had not missed an appointment and here it is Day 3 with you and I cancel…. WTF”

I stopped.

I put my phone down

I took a big sip of water.

I took a deep breath.

I called my therapists office back and left my cell phone number with them.  I then took another good deep long full breath and drank some more water.  The phone rang and it was Dennis.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned him yet.  He has the best voice. I thought my Doctor had a good voice when it came to helping people calm down, but Dennis’s is even better.  Hearing his voice and easily rescheduling my appointment continued the calmness I had started to feel.

Instead of feeding the all too well-known anxiety and anger, I took a few more breathes.  I realized this was the perfect opportunity to take a suggestion of my new therapist.  I did something Dennis mentioned.  Listen to how your body feels.  Feel the feelings.  It doesn’t just happen right away, but eventually I am able to let these feelings go.  The first time I tried it with Roy, I thought “yeah, right, just let it go, so simple yet so wicked hard”  But I have been practicing this with less important life crap.  When I really needed it to, It worked.  Surprised even me.

I had the calm time I needed to realize, “there is not a darn thing I can do to fix this situation.  I will miss my appointment no matter what I do.  It is so out of my control.  I can either focus on the bad of the situation or try to find some good.  I thought it would be fun to try to find some good in this life crap.  So I chose that.

I spent some of my time chatting with the Veterinary Tech I had just spoken to.  I laid down on the green grass and felt the warm breeze.  I drank some water.  I thought, “I should come back and steal some of their lilacs.”  Eventually I met D.J. and Rich.  Turns out Rich knows my husband, knew exactly who I was talking about when I mentioned  ‘the beagles guy’, and did everything in his power to take care of me.  And take care of me he did.  My car will be ready today by 5.

I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason.  Part of the fun is figuring out why things happen?  It’s not often that I am able to figure it out, but when I do, it can make me smile.

Maybe my pleasant attitude and conversation turned D.J.’s day around. Maybe my expression of appreciation to Rich, on GM’s Appreciation Day I might add, made him rethink quitting his job, leaving his wife, and moving to Alaska.  Maybe someone who was passing by, saw me lying in grass, and it made them think “yes, I need to relax too.”

I forgot the point of why I started writing.  I will end with, despite having a lifetime of mental health issues, I am okay today.  I am not great. I am not perfect. It can be a struggle, but I can be okay.

I just realized my goal today was to answer this question, “If there was one thing you could tell people about your experience with mental illness, either in a family member, friend, or yourself, what would it be?”  Thank you Shirley’s Heaven.

Every day I get a reminder to feel gratitude.  Today I am grateful that I took the extra time to make myself look presentable.  I was expecting a simple trip to therapy, not running into the whole Chevy dealership.

I am going to go watch my humming birds.

he attacked my husband’s bright yellow and red shirt, so we gave him 2 brand new feeders. now we have 2 birds and boy do they fight.

 

Day 20 – I treasure Awareness, and Family, and dogs, and the ability to pee by myself, etc.

I might or might not know what happened.confused-on-the-computer

I may have accidently hit publish when I 1st started writing this story way back when. That may explain why it says it was published on January 20th, when I published today. It became my First post???? Not my last of writing 101.

With a lot of work I was able to get it to fit with the last assignment.  All I know is that I finished it today. and published it today.

life as seen by me

Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession. Today’s twist: We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to longform writing. Let’s celebrate the drawn-out, slowly cooked, wide-shot narrative. Good luck to all who read the whole thing and I promise never to write this much again!!!! 4189 words

It all started innocently enough.  I first noticed I couldn’t feel my fingers. As things progressed and I told my story over and over again I realized it actually started weeks before.

I couldn’t feel the cigarette smoke go into my lungs.  I remember telling Jax, “I can’t suck. I suck at sucking.”  I was also eating a lot of Tootsie rolls.  Every time I generated some Tootsie roll flavored saliva I would cough, sputter, choke almost.  I blamed these…

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who or what will inspire me next?

I was taking a day off from writing.  I was gonna do nothing, but maybe read a bit.  Yah Right.  I read a friend’s blog post.  I left a reply to that friend.  This is my reply.

Sorry I do not have any questions about the hospital, but do need to know more about the chair room.  I have never heard of such a thing(It’s been 2 years since I was last in hospital).

Who pays for it? If the insurance pays, how is it billed to them? Who originally thought this “room” was a good idea? Is it just the hospital you went to that has it or are there many similar ones across the country? Could you have left if you chose to? I’m sure if I thought longer I could come up with many more questions, but right now I just have 1 left. Well It is more of a statement.

There is something seriously wrong with the mental health system in this country if you spent 2 days in a chair because there was no bed available to you.  I’m not saying they need more beds, I am saying they need to figure out a way to need less beds. Obviously something is not working somewhere. And don’t look to other countries for answers.  Their systems are different but just as messed up. I think they need to listen to us.  The ones who need the beds.

I was taking a day off from writing and look at me go. Thank you Lily. I just might have to go back to my blog and vent about this.  Oh look I already did vent 😀

I hope you have as good a day as you are capable of having.

I kind of have the feeling this is not going to be the end of me talking about “the chair room” and just think I wanted to get drunk and forget today was even happening.

Take that depressive brain!!!!  I beat you today!!!!

Reach for the Mother Fin' sky

Reach for the Mother F in sky !!!!

 

word on page 29

Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern

Today’s Prompt: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

There are just so many different uses for the word.  It has had quite a history and I am sure a very fine future.  It has been used as titles of movies, a magazine, and music albums.  There is a whole series of books and many working in the crash test field.  The word that jumped out of me on page 29 was dummy.  I chuckled as I realized I could definitely work with that.  The definitions I am going to focus on is a stupid person; idiot; jackass; moron; and to keep silent; refuse to answer; as in ‘dummy up’.wpid-images-7-jpg

Hey dumbass,

haha I laugh at you today.  Did you really think you could get rid of me forever.  You know I may leave temporarily but I never go far.  You are a true idiot if you think that just because I have been gone so long this time that you start to think I could never return. I am here to remind you of me.  Remind you of what I can do.

What a moron you can be sometimes.  You were getting too smaht there for a while.  I had to change things up a bit. I came at you working with agitation and irritability this time. Wasn’t I the smaht one? Remember, I always return. I may look different sometimes, but I guarantee it is always me. 

I may have stayed away too long this time though. You had time to work on other things. Get better in other ways. Find more support. I am very powerful and will always be able to make you do what I want. I am sneaky and unrelenting.

Have as much fun as you can for now.  Because I am coming back.  I am coming back stronger than ever.

– See you soon – Your depressive brain

Hey Jack ass,

Guess what. The jokes on you. I see you coming.  Too much time has passed.  I had time to do things. Time to change things. The biggest thing I have done was become more aware.  So aware that I already see you messing around with my sleep.  You are trying to fool me by doing it slowly, but I am not fooled.  I can see it happening.  So guess what?  I did not dummy up this time.  When I saw you playing with my sleep this month, I got voice to talk about it.  I and other folk are aware of what you are trying to do. They all know.  They are all watching.  We have ways to make you lose control of sleep. When we sleep, you lose your power.  We are not letting you get so out of hand that you get strong this time.  We will stop you and stop you now. 

We are no longer the dummy you thought you had to work with.  I played it smaht. I learned new skills, tried new things, became more courageous, and voice worked with mouth to open up. We have the power to kick your dumbass.

Bring it on Depressive brain this is the new and improved, strong, mighty, healthy brain you are messing with this time.  And, I have control of voice. Boy, she has loved talking.  I almost forgot, we found hope too.  We found her and we are not letting go of her this time.

A different Kind of O.T.T.

wickedcoolNow i’m having more ideas about my feature.  The quick original answer to the assignment in blogging 101 was vent once a week.  Then it went to Random Obsessive Thought Tuesday.  Which morphed into Obsessive Thought Thursday (O.T.T.). Now I have a new idea. How My Mind Works Wednesday? Yup I think that is what I am going to end up with.  At least until I come up with the next wicked cool idea. 

suggest to WordPress a possible change in blogging 101 assignment Day Fifteen: Create a New Posting Feature. Mention the feature assignment in the beginning days of the class, but do not make it an assignment until the end.  people have more time to think about it.

Unless they planned on me changing my feature every 7-14 days???? 🙂

Today is a special day.  It was Christmas in my house this week and we all got toys. I got a new camera.  I was playing with that and PicMonkey.  This is what happened to my living room when I put those 2 things together.OTTbeagleversion1

  1. baby gate in screen door. It will not stop a beagle who smells a critter but it makes us feel better
  2. dog bed with matching LL Bean dog blanket (the blanket came from beagle Nanny. ) 🙂
  3. pillow that beagle just can’t seem to let stay on the loveseat
  4. former ottoman cushion that is now the beagles first step to the loveseat. The rest of the ottoman is being used in the bedroom so he has steps to his other bed.
  5. former ottoman being used as 2nd beagle step.  Please note this is a reclining loveseat.  It does not need ottoman.
  6. phone in case beagle gets a call while sleeping
  7. prince Mattie the beagle
  8. very old, destuffed toy. I think it was a lamb.
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Beagle Breakfast in Bed